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I was commenting on the speed of the loss more than the total area compared to previous years which I do not observe to be of special interest.

Not a unique event but notable. Especially when you consider how much thin ice is still in the wings waiting to melt in May. I anticipate another month of rapid extent loss. Especially in the SOO.


I contacted someone at CT. They're having server problems, hoping to have it fixed soon.


Philip, I agree it is a very fast rate of loss but is only over a short period.

Would you accept it is easier to do a high speed of loss over short period of time when area is above trend at this time of year?

'Just' 430k decline in next 7 days would catch up with 2011 per masie.


I think it has more to do with the late season freeze than with the total area. total extent at this point is trivia, thickness is far more significant. specifically thickness in the main arctic basin. Hudson bay, SOO and Bering sea are side shows.

A Facebook User

Looking at the forecast for Churchill, it would seem like Hudson Bay is going to start melting out soon - http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/mb-42_metric_e.html

Or am I jumping the gun here?


Cryosphere Today?

Cryosphere Last Bloody Week, more like.


Idunno they are having a server issue. Neven posted about it a couple of days ago, do try to keep up :).


going to be even warmer on James bay. Hudson bay is going to see some open water.


Amazing high temperatures at Tiksi (station 21824) at present!


and ice melting temperatures forecast for the next couple of weeks Kris.


The NSIDC Arctic Daily Sea Ice Extent graph depicts a strong decline through 05/04.


Given that the NAO and AO are going to be at least slightly negative, it seems an accelerated ice loss potential remains in place.

I'll be glad to see CT come back online.


MAISE - Day Days 94 - 125

Bob Wallace

When I look at these new CT multi-year regional graphs it seems to me that the cycles are getting narrower, more pointed at the peak, and wider at the bottom.


Is there regional data on the length of the melting season? Is it possible to see if the freezing season is shortening in some regions?

(Could it be that my eyes are faulty?)


PIOMAS has updated. In the past month the 2012 trend line dipped below last year, but then went over it. Interesting.


Neven stated:

past month the 2012

Yes, but the graph stops at the 15th of April, thus just before "the big melt" in the Bering Sea began ...


15th? To me it looks like 30th, and the graph shows in the end Bering melt overtaking mid-polar freeze.


"PIOMAS has updated"

The timing of that took me by surprise.

My updated graphics:


Interesting indeed, more data to help our understanding.


Thanks, Wipneus. Post is up.


Ambivalent wrote,

15th? To me it looks like 30th

Assuming we are talking about BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2_CY.png, as far as my old eyes can see the red 2012 bar stops exactly at the 15th of April.


Kris, the markers and the axis-ticks are at the midpoints of each month.


Wipneus wrote:

the markers and the axis-ticks are at the midpoints of each month

Why then are the set just before the beginning of each month? (about the last day of March now). Doesn't look very logical to me. Unless of course we would be looking at different graphs.

Elaborate please.


The lines do not start at the y axis but a little bit in. When you see this you will then see that the distance to first mark along x axis is only half the distance between marks representing a month.

(I struggled with this too.)

Al Rodger

The PIOMAS graph is actually two graphs overlayed on top of each other.
The symbols mark the average volume for each month and are indicated by the X-axis 'ticks'.
The line is a daily trace (& so doesn't always pass exactly through the average for the month). The daily trace should sensily be marked with the 'ticks' dividing the months & the month's label then set mid-way between the ticks.
The use of modern graphing packages often results now in the 'tick & label' being one entity so in this new convention then are often presented as marking the start of the period in question, be it a month or a year. (Note this inconsistency is not present when it is decades or centuries being marked.)


Al Rodger answered:

The use of modern graphing packages often results now in the 'tick & label' being one entity so in this new convention then are often presented as marking the start of the period in question

I'm afraid this is completely beyond me ... or to put it in another way, what's the use in defining on an X-axis Jan-Feb- ecc -marks while not respecting these marks?

Al Rodger

Put another way...
Take away the line graph & leave the set of points for PIOMAS monthly average. These line up with the 'ticks' & I don't think anybody would be unhappy with it.

It is only the addition of the daily line-trace on top of the monthly averages that is causing the objections. People often expect the 'tick' labelled, say "January" to point to the start of the month (1st January).
But that would then make the Monthly averages look misplaced.

The alternative that would suit both monthly average & daily trace would be to have the ticks as dividers between months, either side of the month's 'label' (ie "January" sitting between '1st Jan' tick & '1st Feb' tick.) Unfortunately this option isn't often available in the compter graphing packages.


I find it very frustrating to follow the melt this year since the unfortunate demise of IJIS JAXA and of the UNi Bremen graph.
CT seems to be permanently offline and DMI is very erratic or almost unreadable. MASIE has the numbers but they seem to be jumping up and down ( don't know why?).
So what indicators are you guys looking at to get an idea of where it's going ?


While this doesn't get us numbers, it is an indicator of the drivers of melt.


Second, one with time might peruse the NSIDC FTP data site, to see if there is a directory or source of publicly available daily data:


Tor Bejnar

On MODIS/TERRA for the Kane Basin, the month old image dated 2012-04-06 (DMI’s Greenland Shore Satellite Images) shows no water east-northeast of the ice arch off of a point of land, whereas the current 2012-05-06 image does show water. A year ago, a little water showed in this location as well.

The ice arch has lost some fixed ice, too, since a month ago.

By the way, does anybody know what happened to the ASAR images? The last one seems to be dated April 8, 2012.
(I wrote this a couple days ago, only now can access my log-in!)



You said that you had email CT and have mentioned something wrong with their servers. Did they give you a timeline for fixing them? It is really disconcerting, given the general rapid decline of earth observation satellite capability of US.


..Arggh.. It is great when at the end of the day you cannot type. You go back and read your comment and think "who's that bozo??"....

Daniel Bailey

Write their wits ya, doc. ;)


By the way, does anybody know what happened to the ASAR images? The last one seems to be dated April 8, 2012.

I noticed this too last week when looking at Nares Strait. Apparently ASAR is on ENVISAT, and they have lost communications with ENVISAT since April 8th.

This thing with the satellites is really starting to suck. And to think that there are websites where people are happy about this...

You said that you had email CT and have mentioned something wrong with their servers. Did they give you a timeline for fixing them?

No, just that they were hoping things would be fixed soon. I hope so too. There's no sense in writing ASI updates if I don't have some form of daily updated data.

But the CT people are doing great work, so I'm willing to wait for as long as they need.


You still have MASIE, MODIS and U Bremen Neven. still a lot more than scientists had ten and twenty years ago is it not?
does anyone have the credibility to ask CT to send the daily data as an email until the site issue is resolved?

R. Gates

Neven said:

"This thing with the satellites is really starting to suck. And to think that there are websites where people are happy about this..."

It would sadden me to think there are those who would like to have less data on status of our planet's climate, but then, there are those who'd like to ban certain books in schools or teach intelligent design along side (or instead of) evolution. It only takes a slight turn of events to bring about a spiral into another dark age...seriously. One can imagine the current general attack on science by certain people as a modern form of the same kind of intimidation the Galileo faced from the Church in 1633. That these same people would celebrate the loss of satellite data would be akin to seeing Galileo's telescope fall over and break...


So I've been looking at the daily graphs, and I'm puzzled by the ice drift shown in this one:


Is this normal? That seems to me to be quite fast drift (unless I've misread the plot) across the central Arctic at a time when you'd expect it to be near its thickest and least conducive to being blown about.

What do others think?


just shows you how thin the ice is even at its thickest. that area near the north pole is probably well under 2 meters thick.

Peter Ellis

Eh, I don't see the problem with using NSIDC figures. Sure, they're smoothed so there's a bit of a lag, but that's probably no bad thing in terms of preventing us getting distracted and missing the wood for the trees.

(holy smokes what happened on DMI!)


Haha, that has to be some glitch. Looks spectacular.

Al Rodger

My take on the sudden drop in DMI is that MASIE is giving a 1.5M sq km drop in 10 days. Without that sudden drop, DMI is showing much less over that period. So I'm in no rush to dismiss it as a glitch.


MASIE Day 128 Update (last 35 days)

For the last 35 days there is 1.992M sq.km. extent loss.


Our Russian friends, show that multi-year ice has been riding the Fram express


you only have to look at that russian map to see the possibility of an ice retreat back as far as the north pole leaving only the Greenland/Canadian side covered in ice.

My gut feeling is that we will come close to or surpass that this year. If not then next year.

John Christensen

It has been a few days since my last comment, hoping to observe some action on the SIA to see how things are moving.

With CT out for the time being I use Arctic ROOS, simply as it seems to have some of the latest updates. As ROOS shows, the past week has shown a more moderated pace of melting and SIA being at their 79-06 mean.

And a curious piece of graphic on minimum temperatures measured in Denmark in May for the past 20 years (In Danish, sorry):


This could be entirely sporadic, but interesting to see how these minimum temperatures were quite consistent in the 90's, then going much higher from 00-09, and apparently moving back to the previous level since 2010. Northern Europe experienced colder winters in '10 and '11 due to NAO-, but that has not been the case this year.

Daniel Bailey
"My gut feeling is that we will come close to or surpass that this year. If not then next year."
About two years on Open Mind ago I put the chance at 30% for 2012 and ~65% for 2013, IIRC.

Still standing by that.


My thoughts exactly Daniel followed by a 3 to 4 year slight recovery as in 2008-2010 and then a new low again. extent area only of course. general downward path of volume is a given unless something jumps out of the magicians hat to cause a big general freeze. the cold winter on the Pacific side of the Arctic is no big deal in my opinion. we get weather variability every year.
there was about 5x as much ice in the Baltic this time last year for example. guess based on MODIS.


The ducks are being lined up for 2016/7 record summer minimum as we speak.


The drop in DMI´s graph is a glitch, see the "hole" in Hudson Bay: http://saf.met.no/p/ice/nh/conc/imgs/OSI_HL_SAF_201205081200_pal.jpg


EnviSat's mission is officially over. Another one bites the dust.


Most posts these last days had an abstract content. Must be the very reduced info coming to us, with IJIS, CT off-line. Uni B has a map, most of it a rather uni-B-form red blob. NSIDC doesn’t produce much detail too. That leaves us with FI ECMWF for weather and MODIS for the looks.
Had a glance on r04c04, the million square km block between the pole, Severnaya Zemlya and the New Siberian Islands. Compared it to 2011 day 131. On 18 april I took the state 2012 slightly worse than 2011. It’s worsened, IMO. A couple of days of southern winds may have had an impact.
I compared UB for 9 may 11 and 12 and found only the Bering Sea holding much more ice now. On all other seas 2012 is right in line with 11 for today.
So what about ice quality, FI in r04c04? It’s full of wide leads, mobile. Chance weather could mess the pack up. That’s for sure…


Apologies for whining, but has anyone heard anything from the CT guys? It's been two weeks without them.


These days, weakness has shifted to the Canadian side. A huge polynia is opening up all along Banks and Prince Patrick Island. And though it is still freezing (Sachs Harbour-Mould Bay minus 6 to 12 day/night ) nilas isn’t forming straight away.
That’s what I see in comparable sits in the Laptev and the Kara also. It isn’t that cold anymore. And my guess is the water exposed in those leads isn’t extremely cold. From now, air temps are driven by melt, drawing warmth from the lower troposphere. It’s easy to see on the Ochotsk coast. While spring is melting snow cover in the hills more than 10 km away, snow cover is holding on to the coastline. The fast ice there is entering it’s blueish final melt-stage, covered with warmth absorbing water.
On r04co4 (pole-Laptev) I can reproduce 3000 km2 large structures of mostly broken up leads and instable regions. One difference with last year is the direction of the fissures. Last year they tore east-west, now they’re north-south. And they’re much wider and extensive.

L. Hamilton

As you can see from the DMI graph it's not dropping fast yet, apart from that unphysical bounce a few days ago. From 5/9 to 5/10 a more plausible decline of -82k, making a loss of -340k since 5/1.


Corresponded with CT today. They kindly shared it will be some time to get the data back online - reevaluation of server allocation needs and equipment upgrade.

No definitive date for new data, but hopes for a soon return to temporary normalcy.

However, on the outside, it may be some weeks until CT restoration takes place.

Al Rodger

DMI & NSIDC graphs don't appear to be in matching MASIE which seems to be giving a different version of events.
After 2 static days, MASIE shows 2 x 150k day declines. That is now totalling 1,700k in 16 days.
(Extent was, of course, way above recent years so the decline shown by MASIE would be only restoring 'the normality' of recent years.)

Chris Biscan

The GFS is brutal on the arctic the next 10 days with a dipole anomaly and very warm air moving in.

The ice is in bad shape. SO much think junk 1.75M or less ice out there.


MASIE Day 132 Update (last 39 days)

2.22 million km2 loss for the last 39 days.
56% loss at Berring sea and 14.4% for the whole basin from last 39 day maximum (see graph).

Chris Biscan

Models continue to catch up on the warming and pattern in the short term.

Snow Cover is quickly melting out into large anomalys. The albedo changes allow the change from Winter to Summer to come more quickly than in the past for the mid latitudes 50-70N.

A lot of feedbacks and mechanisms kick in together.

Snow albedo feedback
Ice albedo feedback
GHG Forcing(always increasing)
solar peak over NH
High Ocean OHC and SSTS to keep equilibrium line high. Basically the Earth can not cool enough during cool periods, so the overall baseline keeps moving upwards as more heat is in the system.

That last factor allows the feedback's an easier job to get the same wrm results, overtime the spring snow cover will continue to get worse, which will also affect the ice as stronger and stronger influx's of heat come earlier on. And last longer as well.


it's right there.

Look familiar? Yeah, the summer would also be like that, but a steeper drop.

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